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Does Tree Fertilizer Work?

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Tree Services in Toronto » Plant Healthcare » Does Tree Fertilizer Work?

Does Tree Fertilizer Work?

Fall fertilizer Toronto

You know to fertilize your lawn, your vegetable garden, your flower, but — your trees? Don’t those take care of themselves? You may be wondering, does tree fertilizer work? What does it do and when do you use it?

Don’t trees fertilize themselves? Well, sort of. In the wild, healthy trees should get all the nutrients they need from the soil. In urban environments, trees need a little more help to stay healthy.

Luckily, assuming you’re reading this in early spring, now is the perfect time to fertilize your trees, shrubs, and hedges!

Restore nutrients in urban environment

In natural environments, fallen leaves and other plants decay on the forest floor, returning nitrogen to the soil. This helps trees keep the right balance of nutrients. But in the city, trees often grow independently or with only one or two other trees or shrubs close by. We rake away dead leaves, clear up garden plants past their prime, and mow lawns.

This means trees don’t get all those good nutrients from decaying plants. Not only that, but city life is hard on trees! Roads, car exhaust, smog, salt and ice melters, and cramped quarters can all do a number on trees. Fertilizer helps balance out the soil and restore those key nutrients to a tree or shrub.

Grass growing underneath trees can also suck away nutrients the tree may otherwise have taken in. Trees on urban lawns can benefit from the extra boost.

Promote new growth

In spring, your tree or hedge is getting ready for its prime growing season in summer. Fertilizing in spring helps give your trees a boost before the season. By adding in the extra nutrients from fertilizing, you set your tree up for success.

Proper fertilizing helps your tree create more chlorophyll, which stimulates leaf and branch growth. Especially for younger trees, spring fertilizer contributes to a healthy canopy. Fertilizer restores nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Those are the main ingredients in synthetic fertilizers. Natural fertilizer like compost tea also contains nutrients like iron and zinc that are required by trees in smaller quantities. They are slower-releasing than synthetic fertilizers and help improve your yard’s soil structure.

Clean up and recover from winter

The freeze-thaw cycles and ice in the GTA this winter have been especially tough on hedges and shrubs. Cedars, yews, and junipers are a few of the plants that have been bent all sorts of ways by ice and wind. Fertilizing can help strengthen a tree by improving its health ahead of the growing season.

If your tree has suffered damage from winter weather or salt damage, fertilizer will help it grow back stronger this summer. It will also help trees that had insect or pest damage in the previous season.

More beautiful, healthier trees for the season

When your tree gets fertilizer, it helps your tree with new growth. Your tree should grow healthy new buds, leaves, or needles. With restored nutrients, you should also see an improvement in colour. That may mean bigger, greener leaves or branches.

If you have a tree that’s been suffering from weak growth, short twigs and branches, fewer leaves or discoloured leaves over the past few summers, fertilizer may be the kick it needs to grow well this summer. We can do soil testing and recommend soil amendments for more specialized solutions as well. With properly fertilized trees and shrubs, your verdant yard will be the envy of all your neighbours!

Help a newer tree settle in

If you have a tree in the first few years of planting, it’s especially important to fertilize. The benefits of fertilizer will help the tree to establish roots and new growth. In urban environments, it’s harder for trees to establish root systems. Fertilizer helps improve the soil around the new tree, making it easier for the tree to settle in.

Fertilizing speeds up canopy growth, letting a new tree establish itself in its environment. A slow-releasing fertilizer like compost tea is an ideal choice for newer trees.

Set your tree up for success this summer

Tree fertilizer is an easy and affordable way to help your trees’ health. We offer pricing that includes all trees, shrubs and woody plants on a property and can often offer a fast quote prior to visiting your home.

Spring is already here, so don’t delay: learn more about our compost tea fertilizer service now!

author avatar
Michael Co-Founder
Michael is a Certified Arborist and founder of the company. He holds a Certificate in Urban Arboriculture (Honours) from Humber College, Certificate in Project Leadership from Cornell, has post-graduate studies in Urban Forestry and Arboriculture from Oregon State College of Foresty and holds a BAH in Ancient History with a minor in Business. In addition to being an ISA Certified Arborist, he is a TCIA Certified Tree Safety Professional, Tree Appraisal Qualified by Arboriculture Canada and holds a Landscape Exterminator license. Michael sat on the Board of Director for the Ontario Commercial Arborist Association in 2022 and 2023. He worked at some of the top arboriculture companies in Southern Ontario before starting Vista Tree Management. Before that, he was an award-winning Executive Director in the nonprofit sector and published marketing consultant. On the rare days off, Michael can be found at home with his family - a loving wife, two daughters and two cats in Central Toronto.
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We are very happy with all the work Vista Tree Management accomplished on our property.  James was very professional and gave us excellent advice concerning the trimming of our 12 foot cedar hedges and the pruning of our mature silver maple trees.  The crew was very friendly and hard working, they did a tremendous job on the work required and they did an excellent job with the clean up.  We would highly recommend Vista Tree services to our family and friends.  We will definitely use them again for all of our future projects.
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They were straightforward with the plan - clear and precise, ensuring that I was well informed of the process and outcome. The execution was meticulous and exceeded my expectations. Moreover, the cleanliness post-service was remarkable, leaving no trace of debris or disruption.

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I can’t say enough positive comment about James and Vista Tree. We were “ghosted” by 2 other tree management companies last fall. James came by and provided separate quotes for two very large trees on our property, both of which were a challenge to severely prune. They were a hazard and had to be addressed. The quotes were delivered the next day after assessment. The team was here on two separate days (April 30 and May 7). They were efficient, professional and most importantly safe. Hollis, the arborist who climbed the trees was friendly and communicated everything he was doing to the trees as well as any changes he made once he was up in the tree. The other members of the crew (Syd and Pete, I can’t remember the others) were professional and friendly. They cleaned everything up and were open to any suggestions we had regarding disposal of the wood. I would highly recommend this company. We will be having them back again to do more work, in the fall.
Leaside neighbours take note!! Exceptional and professional service from start to finish. The team at Vista Tree Management responded to an urgent and critical situation. They were efficient, skilled and courteous. They handled the tree removal with precision and left our backyard immaculate. I highly recommend this team for your tree removal needs. They beat the competition by $1000+
James and his team did a great job pruning and trimming our old silver maple. James answered all my questions, provided expert advice and had his team do the work shortly after. The workers were professional, cleaned the space well, and were really efficient. Would definitely recommend Vista Tree management!
James was great! Very professional and you can definitely tell he knows what he’s talking about. They provided a quote in a timely manner booked us in for the tree pruning within a few days afterwards. The job was done quickly, professionally and the crew was friendly and polite. They cleaned up everything once the work was completed. Highly recommend!
Safe, fast, personable team - did a great job with tree trimming and removal! Note: the removal of a tree was not on the original scope and they still made it happen!
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Highly recommend! Michal came by first to take a look at things and provide the estimate. He’s obviously passionate about what he does and I learned a ton about my tree that I had no idea about! He gave me the confidence I needed to schedule the work. James and the “J-Crew” arrived on the scheduled day and were super friendly. The team did an amazing job with trimming my large overgrown maple and a fantastic cleanup job. My yard looked better than before they arrived. Will definitely have them back for future maintenance! Thanks Vista!
Great service from a great crew of people! The team was amazing from consulting on best ways to tackle the project, safely removing the trees and making sure the job was done to satisfaction. Would highly recommend and definitely use them again.
These guys are incredibly professional and by far the best arborist that have visited our home. And we've had many!

What impressed me the most was throughout their only concern was safety for my family and our property. With that and that only in mind they made all the cuts and changes that were required. When they left, I felt the most relief I felt about the trees in our backyard in a long time.

Truly appreciate your hard work and will highly recommend you in the future!
After doing a fair bit of research into Toronto-based arborists, we decided to go with Vista, and are very happy we did! From my first meeting with Mike when he came to give us a free quote, I was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism. Mike and his crew were punctual on the day they came to prune the deadwood from our very large Red Oak tree, answered my questions, and worked for 7 hours straight to get the job done. We were impressed from beginning to end, and wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again!
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James was amazing in communication and and arranging everything. He is a wonderful person and professional. I had 4 different companies for the quotes and Vista Tree were the best by every criteria I had in mind. After the work was done they cleaned the whole territory even the mess that was here before them. I would definitely recommend them and will call them again when I need any tree work done. Thanks!

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